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15+ sweater refashions to recycle old sweaters into new clothes!

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recycle old sweaters into new clothesHow to recycle old sweaters into new clothes! If you’re spring cleaning your closet and looking to give old sweaters new life, I have a whole post full of inspiration and tutorials for you. This focuses on changing the look of a sweater but keeping it a sweater; if you want to chop it up and turn it into something else, check out this post instead: 40+ ways to upcycle sweaters into something new. If you don’t have a sweater stash, check out these tips for thrift shopping to upcycle & refashion before you hit up the store, and either way, read this post before you start your project:, 10 refashioning tips for successful sewing!

While you’re here, check out these other posts too!

Pin this round-up of how to recycle old sweaters into new clothes with this link or collage photo; please click through to the original websites to pin individual photos!

sweater refashion ideas

recycle old sweaters into new clothes

Turn a traditional cardigan into a trendy athleisure sweatshirt with this tutorial from Trish Stitched, for some reason this looks like all new fabric to me, with the different silhouette!

octopus sweater refashioned

I cannot get enough of these fiber art refashions by Ella Beaudoin; she sells her work and there’s no tutorial but it can spark your own creativity! See more of her sweater art and find her on twitter & instagram.


This is fun and reminiscent of the purse refashion I did! Get the cross stitch sweater refashion tutorial on the Darice blog, by the Pretty Life Girls.

I love this one! See how to make a plain sweater fancy with this ruffle refashion from Sew Much Love, Mary.

A quick and easy switch from a thick pullover to an open cardigan with this refashion from The Renegade Seamstress for Ehow.

flower applique sweater refashion

Click through to see the before on this sweater refashion, it is quick and easy but looks totally different, from See Kate Sew.

This is a great way to hide a cuff stain or wear spot; chop it off and replace it with lace! Tutorial at Handmade Heather.

I love all the different colors and textures in this refashion, for anyone with a cottage-y aesthetic check out this refashion tutorial from Tea Rose Home.

heart sweater refashion

A simple and fun refashion with reverse applique, with a tutorial from Sisters What.

Turn a boring sweater back into this chic twist! A video tutorial from Paper Michey.

Okay, I LOVE this idea, a super long colorblocked cardigan with a tutorial from Paper Michey.

Appliques are not new to me but I never would’ve thought to put them as faux-epaulets, this is so creative from Thriftanista In The City.

This is so creative! Just one beaded applique and some cutting makes for a totally different look, I love the asymmetry too. Tutorial at Trash to Couture.

Simple but looks so different; crop and embellish a sweater with this tutorial by Made by Aya.

Turn a pullover style sweater into a zip front with this tutorial from Mimi G style!

sweater dress refashion

Simple lines but a big impact change with this sweater refashion from @bringingsewingback!

Not pictured:

I’ve focused mostly on adult refashions but don’t forget you can refashion adult sweaters into kid clothes too! Here is one tutorial from Make It And Love It for a dress (shown above); or you could make it into a sweater vest for kids like this tutorial from Made Everyday, or last but not least you could also refashion an adult sweater into a kid’s sweater, following this tutorial on my site that uses tshirts!


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Friday 8th of September 2023

Thanks for the link to this interesting article about transforming old sweaters into new clothes! This is a great way to not only be creative, but also care about sustainability and recycling.


Tuesday 16th of February 2021

I have two cashmere cardigans I inherited from my mother-in-law that are too small. I also have an embroidered wool cardigan from my mother that is too large. Any suggestions?

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Tuesday 4th of July 2023

I would chop up the two cashmere sweaters and turn them into one sweater that fits, if the colors complement!

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